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Andalusia in the Oscars

From the deserts of Tabernas to the Park of María Luisa in Seville, many locations in Andalusia have become part and parcel of the masterpieces filmed in the region. Some of these have even taken home the little gold statues from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that so many hanker after.

By: Irene Ríos

andalucia en los oscars

Lawrence de Arabia Lawrence of Arabia by David Lean - 1962 (Tabernas, Gérgal, Níjar, Carboneras, Rodalquilar, Cabo de Gata, Seville)

The ultimate adventure movie and a David Lean masterpiece, Lawrence of Arabia won seven Oscars in 1963: Best Film, Director, Artistic Director, Cinematography, Music, Sound and Editing. The English director chose the desert-like landscapes of Almeria for many of the scenes starting Peter O’Toole.

CleopatraCleopatra by Joseph L. Mankiewicz - 1963 (Cabo de Gata, Almeria and the Motril-Murcia motorway)

Almeria was the backdrop for much of this classic film starring Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Buron and Rex Harrison. In the 36th Oscar Award Ceremony Cleopatra won five little gold men: Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Costume Design, Effects, and Cinematography. The Oscar for Best Film that year went to Tom Jones by Tony Richardson.

Doctor ZhivagoDoctor Zhivago by David Lean - 1965 (Alpujarras, Granada)

The tempting wine-stained lips of Julie Christie and the snow-covered house at Varykino designed by Gil Parrondo. These are just some of the images that have helped Doctor Zhivago go down in history as one of the most powerful films of all time. The Alpujarras (Granada) are the setting of the funeral that kicks off this beautiful love story. Although the Oscar for Best Picture was stolen by The Sound of Music, this classic film won five Oscars in 1966.

PattonPatton by Franklin J. Shaffner - 1970 (Tabernas and Cabo de Gata, Almeria)

In 1971 this film about the North American general won the Oscar for Best Picture, Franklin J. Schaffner the prize for Best Director, and George C. Scott the award for Best Actor (which he rejected and returned to the Academy the day after the ceremony). These were just some of the seven awards for a movie set against the hot scenery of Almeria.

RojosReds by Warren Beatty - 1981 (Seville, Guadix and La Calahorra)

Warren Beatty’s second attempt at directing for the big screen was Reds, for which he was awarded the Oscar for Best Director in 1982. A true story about a North American Journalist (John Reed) during the Russian Revolution, Reds won two other prizes: Best Actress in a Supporting Role and Best Cinematography. The Alcázar of Seville was chosen as the setting for several scenes in the film.

Indiana Jones y la Última CruzadaIndiana Jones and the Last Crusade by Steven Spielberg - 1989 (Granada, Almeria)

It would be inconceivable to imagine that the most famous explorer of all time wouldn’t have passed through Andalusia at some point. Steven Spielberg recognized the value of the landscape and archaeology of both Almeria and Seville, and brough with him Indiana Jones armed with his whip. The 1980 celebration of the Oscars awarded Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade the prize for Best Sound Effects.

Hable con ellaTalk to Her by Pedro Almodóvar - 2002 (Cordoba and Lucena)

The capital of Cordoba and the adjacent Lucena witnessed the filming of this film directed by the now international Almodóvar. Up against Far from Heaven, Gangs of New York, Y tu mamá también and My Big Fat Greek Wedding Almodóvar surprisingly won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2003. Almodóvar was also nominated as Best Director. It’s all a matter of taste.



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1 comment

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El 24 February 2009 a las 9:14 PM, david dijo...

Perdonad pero doctor zhivago tambien se rodo en la calahorra(granada) , quisiera deciros que cuando se habla de cine (spaguetti western siempre biene a relucir almeria ,pero la calahorra (granada)tambien tiene que aparecer ,por que todas las escenas ferroviarias de esos western se hicieron aqui y otras muchas en su poblado del oeste que hizo leone,agradeceria que lo hicierais saber a quien corresponda y que si se tiene que mentar almeria es obvio pero por favor tambien LA CALAHORRA

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